July 7, 2015

Cover Story

Corporate Cuisine Awards 2015

The foodie culture in Utah has been gaining traction for years, which is w...Read More

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Corporate Cuisine Awards 2015

The Best of Business Dining in Utah

By Utah Business Editors

July 7, 2015

Chow customers can see where the truck is located by visiting www.chowtruck.com, where a weekly schedule is posted, or by following @Chowtruck on Twitter. Chow also caters private events.

Best Hotel Restaurant
Bambara
202 S. Main Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
bambara-slc.com

Best World Cuisine

Mazza
1515 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
912 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
mazzacafe.com

Best Business Catering
Culinary Crafts
357 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
573 W. State Street, Ste. A, Pleasant Grove, UT 84062
culinarycrafts.com

Best Power Breakfast
Finn’s Café
1624 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
finnscafe.net

You could say the restaurant business is in Finn Gurholt’s blood.

He grew up amid the hustle and bustle of Finn’s Restaurant in the bygone days of Salt Lake City, and baked goods for the restaurant and wholesale in the building’s basement. Run by his Norwegian immigrant parents, Finn’s Restaurant made a name for itself for nearly half a century until it closed when Gurholt’s mother retired in 1997.

“I have a lot of heritage from my parents … They had one of the higher-end dinner houses for 45 years in Salt Lake,” Gurholt says. “They had retired and she didn’t want to sell the business to any family member, so she sold the building and told me to get a job.”

Gurholt says he immediately started keeping an eye open for a building that would do for a revival of the family business. The perfect fit came in the form of a 1940s-era building in Sugarhouse that had plenty of space for parking. Gurholt and his wife purchased and restored the structure, and in July 2006 opened up Finn’s Café. The new place has a heavier focus on breakfast and lunch than its predecessor, but the dedication to quality Scandinavian-American fare—and Gurholt’s from-scratch sourdough bread made from the same starter he’s been using for 40 years—remained.

“We do all our own baking—everything’s from scratch. We try to keep things as local as possible. Everything is fresh from the start,” he says.

Gurholt says the food, ambiance and location of the cozy-but-not-cramped space makes the café a draw for customers, including those who are discussing business over their meals.

As the restaurant celebrates its ninth birthday, Gurholt says they’re proud to be a part of the Sugarhouse revival and hope to be around for years to come.

“We love what we’re doing. We know the food business and we’re happy to be doing it for ourselves in Sugarhouse,” he says. “Hopefully we’re part of the new skyline on the east side of town.”

Best Cocktails
Bar-X
155 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
barxsaltlake.com

Best Hot Spot
Current Fish & Oyster
279 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
currentfishandoyster.com

For years, Joel LaSalle and Mikel Trapp watched the dining scene of Salt Lake City, waiting for a void to be filled.

But as the seasons changed and the restaurant scene stayed the same, LaSalle and Trapp grew impatient. Finally, a year ago, they decided to take matters into their own hands. “We decided about this time last year we were going to go for it and cross our fingers and invest more money in that venture than we ever had invested before,” LaSalle says.

In March, the business partners launched Current Fish & Oyster. Housed in what was once the first Ford Model T Dealership west of the Mississippi, LaSalle and Trapp designed everything about their new offering—venue, menu and service—with a sort of “go big or go home” attitude.

The gamble has paid off in its first few months as Current has quickly floated to the top of Salt Lake City’s hotspots. Its seemingly instant popularity has come as a surprise even to its owners, who have sometimes had to scramble to accommodate business.

“We seem to hit it great on all cylinders. It’s literally outperforming our expectations by at least double. We’re excited about it—and scared. When you do something like this that has that big of an impact in the city, you have to make sure you take care of everyone,” LaSalle says. “You have to immediately make adjustments and start pulling people from other places and hiring good people. You have to keep the quality up, so people don’t walk away saying, ‘Yeah, I went there, and it was OK.’ We don’t want anyone to say it was fine.”

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